We’ve been to The Lodge at Chaa Creek several times over the years, and people ask why we keep coming back. There are many reasons; the friendly staff providing impeccable yet unobtrusive service, the excellent food with fresh ingredients grown right on site at the Maya organic farm and the many activities.
Belize’s reputation as an eco-paradise has as much to do with people as with the stunning natural environment. We’re always hearing about individuals who show a deep commitment to the environment and take it upon themselves to protect our endangered animals and ensure their survival. Jamal Galves is one of those people.
A recent story from the Belize Zoo was so heart-warming that we thought we take the unprecedented step of posting it here in its entirety. More and more, Belize is being known as an eco-paradise, due to the vibrant eco-tourism industry, environmental education in our schools and the efforts of individuals, groups and businesses in caring for and protecting our land, water and wildlife. We’ve posted stories about crocodile and manatee rescues in the past, and here’s a lovely one about concerned individuals, a local business, a government department, wildlife rescuers and the Belize Zoo all working together to save one of Belize’s iconic birds. We think such efforts should be acknowledged, so why not share this one if you like it?
A “Caracol remote-sensing project” was sponsored by the US space agency NASA to determine if LiDAR can be used to see below the forest canopy to provide images of an ancient Maya landscape in Belize. The project was even more successful than researchers hoped it would be, with just a few flyovers providing a more detailed picture of this ancient city than all the previous, painstaking on the ground research had. The project produced a detailed view of nearly 80 square miles, more than six times the area previously mapped, showing the topography, ancient structures, causeways, and agricultural terraces. Researchers now have a much better picture of how big Caracol actually was, how it was structured, and how the ancient Maya altered their landscape to create a sustainable urban environment. Because of this, some previous ideas about how this amazing civilisation developed are being reconsidered.
Local market days are great opportunities to experience Belizean life and color, and this is certainly true for Cayo where every Saturday the market area comes alive with its own multicultural blend of colors, sounds, flavors and foodstuffs. This is the day when farmers and almost everyone comes into San Ignacio town to buy, sell, trade, gossip and generally catch up. If you want to experience real Western Belize life, this is the place, and what a pleasant, heady experience it is. Vendors from nearby and remote communities contribute to the melodic mix of Maya, Creole, English and Spanish while Mennonite farmers can be heard conversing in German.
While this was the end of the 2014 Eco Kids Educational Camp, it was also the beginning for 24 newly hatched environmentalists, who now have a better appreciation of Belize’s stunning natural world and an understanding of what it takes to ensure that Belize’s precious natural resources will still be around for their children, and their children’s children.
Let’s Cheer on Belize’s Commonwealth Games Athletes!
Belize’s fastest men and women began competing yesterday in the 20th Commonwealth Games at Glasgow, and, along with most of the country, managers, staff and guests at Chaa Creek we are cheering for them and anxiously awaiting more great results.
With the track and field competitions on at the games yesterday, Sunday 27 July, Kaina Martinez ranked 5th and Mark Anderson ranked 8th on their 100 metre qualifying heats. Bravo to them for a job well done!
Kenneth Medwood …
We promised an update on the Eco Kids educational summer camp, and as our budding environmentalists rounded the half way mark of this weeklong educational adventure the job just got harder – not from trying to find things to write about, but by having way too many cool things to pick and choose from. There’s no doubt the Eco Kids have definitely hit the right balance between education and fun while giving their dedicated camp councillors a run for their money.
A recent NY Times article shows how Australian environmental technology is being used to monitor destructive, illegal fishing activity along the Belize Barrier Reef, and, with other Green applications planned for the future, giving the non-military use of drones a good name. Belize Fisheries Department personnel are now being trained up to operate small but highly effective drones to patrol Belizean waters in a bid to combat illegal fishing, just as this year’s lobster season begins. It seems only fitting that Australia, with the world’s largest Great Barrier Reef, has developed drone technology that is coming to the aid of Belize, home to the world’s second largest barrier reef.
One of the dangers of vacations is a tendency to try to cram too much in. The whole point of a holiday is to relax, isn’t it? Some of our best days away have been the ones where you wake up to a day that’s a blank canvas, and then decide how to fill it yourself. And that’s where day trips come in, those short excursions that can be undertaken at a drop of the hat, freeing up holiday time to just lounge, talk, reconnect and recharge. Fortunately, Belize has such a variety of awesome day trips that visitors can choose from a menu of a la carte activities and mix and match day excursions to create their own rich, totally satisfying holiday adventures. So, in the spirit of “I’ll take one from column A, one from column B, and finish off with a treat from the desert trolley”, here are three sumptuous choices from Belize’s smorgasbord of activities.